tv [untitled] March 12, 2012 11:00am-11:30am EDT
telemarketers who called consumers on the do not call registry. more than 100 scammers that peddled spam and spywear and most notably, two of the largest companies entered into consent with our agency will honor commitments to hundreds of consumers worldwide and hire outside auditors ho monitor their privacy practices, but since our founding in 1914, the ftc has had a policy function and's in recent years focused it, we like to think, to some extent like a laser on privsy. just last week we released a report on mobile apps for children and found in eventually all case, app stores or app developers were telling parents what data was collected from children, how the app shared it and with whom. that has to change. no one has the right to keep parents from taking a firm hold of their child's hand as they cross the information
superhighway and we are now working with industry to make sure that parents do get the information they need. the principles underline much of our work on privacy are laid out in the december 2010 draft report on privacy. that calms on companies to follow three principles -- privacy by design. more consumer choice, and better transparency. by the way, how many of you in the audience actually read privacy policies online? well, that's about a third. well, maybe about 20%. you're a pretty sophisticated audience. anyway, as part of our draft report we recommended a do not track system that would let consumers choose what information is collected about them online and how it's used. today we are proud to report that a powerful group of leaders has come together to respond to our call. for the past several years, the online advertising industry has been working to develop an icon that consumers could click to opt out of receiving targeted ads. today though it is still a work in progress, the ad industry
obtained buy-in through companies that deliver 90% of online behavioral advertisements and with the better business bureau established a mechanism with teeth to address non-compliance. of course, it's backed up by ftc oversight and enforcement. if they don't enforce it and i'm sure they can, we can. more recently, industry has gone further, no releasing browsing data for sensitive practices. it's moving towards simplifying the opt out page and ensuring when consumers do elect not to be tracked their choice stays with them. in a related effort, very early on the companies that make web browsers, microsoft internet xploer, firefox and apple step ud up to the challenge to give consumers choy how they are tracked online. they did. up until now, the advertising industry and browser operators
operated in pail letter tracks bus separate ones. today wit advertising industry announcing that it will honor consumer choices about tracking made through web browser settings, the two initiatives are beginning to come together. as a result, consumers will be able to opt out of tracking through either the icon on advertisements they see or through the browser settings. and america will really be moving further down the road to protecting consumer privacy. now, while these development, encouraging, we still need to ensure that all companies that track users including ones that aren't advertisers are at the table. today at the world wide web consortium, gathered engineer, consumer groups and participants across the broad technology industry to create a universal standard for do not track and look forward to their deliberations also over the coming year. certainly challenges lie ahead. we all understand that there are privacy problems in cyber space.
we spend a lot of time as an agency bringing cases against companies that fail to honor their privacy commitments. and the current do not track initiatives aren't yet complete. but these issues aside, let's take stock of how far we've come. american business is committed to improving tracking controls, and at a more basic level to letting consumers choose how they're data is handled and shared. that is to protecting the consumer privacy. henry ford once said, coming together is the beginning. keeping together is progress. working together is success. with encourage of this administration, which has so keenly recognized the link between protecting consumer privacy online and enjernding consumer trust and internet commerce, impressive public/private partnership has made a beginning coming together around one small agencial do not track initiative. today we celebrate the progress we have made as we've kept together. apple, google and other tech companies announced yesterday
they'll insist on private policies in the mobile space. businesses committed to advanced do not track and the president reminded us and the world that in america, personal privacy is a right. from here we can see success, which will come as long as we continue to work towards one common goal. a thriving, innovative cyber economy fueled by the confidence of consumers whose privacy and personal data is handled with care and respect. thank you, and now let me introduce ellen bloom, the extraordinary ellen bloom, who heads federal policy for consumer energy. >> i'm not so sure about the extraordinary, but i'll take it. thank you, chairman liebowitz. it's really a machiner to be here today, and be part of this announcement. what we've just heard from our
distinguishes speakers is really good news for consumers. so i'm really delighted to be here offering support on behalf of my organization, consumers union which is the policy and advocacy arm of consumer reports, and also representing consumer federation of america. our two organizations are all about listening to consumers, and consumers tell us one of the real concerns they have about the internet is privacy. and inn a recent poll conducted by consumer reports, 80% of consumers told us they were concerned that online companies may be passing their personal information to third parties without permission. if people don't trust that they're online information will be handled with care and respect, they're going to be very uncomfortable signing up for new services. that's going to about killer for innovation and growth. today's privacy initiatives recognize this fact. we agree with the administration that comprehensive privacy legislation would be ideal.
and we're going to work to that end. but this action today puts us on a path to getting greater control over how our information is collected and used online. we appreciate the administration's leadership role in this as well as the ftc's tenacious worked. and we're pleased that industry is stepping up its efforts to respect consumer privacy choices. we believe the administration's consumer internet privacy bill of rights puts the right amount of focus on transparency around data collection and its use and giving individuals more information or more control over their personal information. and we're grateful for the multistakeholder process described today that will be convened by the commerce department. this will bring consumer and privacy groups and industry together to hopefully develop consensus based enforcible privacy codes of conduct. we expect the consumer voice will be a very loud and forceful voice during that process.
we're going to do everything to make sure that happens. you can count on it. we're glad, too, that the ftc and the advertising industry will be breathing new life into the do not track tools for consumers. some of the nation's largest media and marketing associations have now agreed to respect consumer choices expressed through do not track browser tools. we're pretty cleesed with that. this soo welcome step towards one day having a single, simple and persistent tool to opt out of being tracked online. we hope that day comes soon. we fully support the ongoing negotiations through the world wide web consortium to help develop a uniformed do not track standard. that's what consumers wanted and need. we're encourageed by today's announcement, are not ready to rest, we're on the right track but need to stay committed to the goals about how their information is collected and used online and giving individuals the means to make meaningful privacy choices.
the internet gives us extraordinary tools to interact with each other and society. at the same time, it's raised valid concerns about what's fair when it comes to your personal information. we look forward to working with the administration, the ftc and industry to come up with fair rules of the road so that we can all stand behind them. thank you very much. >> that's it. time to get going. we are in a we can't wait mode about this issue. you will hear very soon from our colleagues at department of commerce about how to get going. we need all of you who are here to help out with this process. as gene said, i think so clearly, the internet has come about because of the cooperative efforts of the wide range of
individuals and organizations that are represented in this room that gather together all around the world that care about progress here. we're critically dependent on all of you working together to make this happen. i want to say that we're -- to those of you who were involved in all the discussions that got us here over the last two years, we've seen tremendous collaborative spirit, a lot of flexibility. we've seen trust building in the hope in the idea we can all work together and that's our task forward. i want to close quickly by just acknowledging a couple of people at the commerce department who really have had the laboring or oars on this effort. alex, john morris, jay defendanter, aaron bernstein, richelle and joe tesler. many others. i'm leaving out a lot of people. they've done an extraordinary job. they're the reason this is here. and i want to thank all of our
colleagues across the white house, quintin paul, you came from congress to the white house with me has done a huge amount. shannon got us all together, organized, and tristen pegrum as well. is anish here? all right. thank you. we'll look forward to taking the next steps with you and thanks again for coming. here's a look at what's coming up today here on c-span3. next the heads of u.s. special operations and u.s. special command testifying on military operations in the middle east and the president's 2013 budget request. at 1:45 a discussion on negative
political campaign ads. that's followed by the nation's governors discussing economic growth in their states. and later, secretary of state hillary clinton on her department's 2013 budget request. and coming up on c-span2, today's white house briefing with spokesman jay carney. he's expected to take questions on the killing of 16 afghan civilians by a u.s. staff sergeant. that's live at 12:45 p.m. eastern. and at 130, the japanese ambassador to the us, the keynote speaker at the american enterprise institute discussing the country's rebuilding efforts one year after a powerful earthquake hit northeastern japan and triggered a tsunami. that's live at 1:30 p.m. eastern on our companion network c-span. with programming throughout the week, events telling the american story on "american history tv." get schedules and see past programs on our websites. and you can join in the conversation on social media
sites. the top commander of u.s. forces in the middle east said last week he believed syrian president bashar al assad will remain in power for some time. admitting things will get worse before they get better in the region. general mattis along with the commander of u.s. special operations spoke about iran's nuclear program and political unrest and violence in syria and both commanders discussed the future of u.s./afghan relations with the recent shootings and protests over koran burnings and president obama over commands and special budget requests. this is just under three hours. >> this morning we continue the committee's review of combatant commanders to meet security challenges and operations in their areas of responsibility in light of the president's budget request for fiscal year 2013.
our witnesses are general james mattis, commander, u.s. central command. and admiral bill mcraven. thank you both for dedicated and distinguished service to our nation and on behalf of the committee, please extend our heartfelt gratitude to the military men and women serving with you. many served directly in harm's way. we thank them for dedication and courage and we thank their families whose support is essential. as reflected in the president's budget request of $88 billion for overseas con tingaries operations in fiscal year 2013, the conflict in afghanistan remains our military's foremost security challenge. the afghanistan mission is entering a critical phase of transition. the drawdown of the 33,000 u.s. force is scheduled to be
completed by the end of this summer, and the remaining 68,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan are to continue to be reduced, "at a steady pace" thereafter through 2014 according to president obama. leading to an advise and assist role as those forces assumingly assume the lead for providing security. this transition is to be completed by 2014 when afghan security forceless have assumed their security -- security lead throughout the country. as the u.s. troop presence in afghanistan winds down our special operations forces will assume greater and greater responsibility for the afghanistan mission and for advising and supporting the afghan security forces. even after 2014, our u.s. military plans on having an ongoing presence in afghanistan
to train the afghan forces, conduct counterterrorism operations and provide key enablers, such as logistics, airlift and intelligence support. the recent violence in afghanistan following the unintentional and regrettable burning of korans at a u.s. military base is deeply troubling. president obama has expressed his regret. i would hope that president karzai would condemn the killing of six american soldiers as part of that violence. while these events could weaken the level of trust between u.s. and afghan forces, secretary panetta says the recent attacks on our troops "will not alter our commitment to get this job done." the success of the afghanistan mission will depend on building the capabilities of the afghan
national security forces. at the end of the day, the conflict in afghanistan is an afghan war and it will be up to the afghan forces to win it. for this reason, i am concerned by news accounts that the united states is circulating within nato a proposal to reduce the afghan security forces by as much as one-third. according to the "wall street journal," under this proposal, the size of the afghan army and police would be reduced from 352,000 personnel this year to 230,000 after 2014. lieutenant general daniel bulger, the head of the nato training mission in afghanistan, is cited as saying this proposal is based on "what the international community will provide financially and what the afghans can provide for themself." i am surprised and i'm disappointed to hear our military commanders are focusing
on afghan based on what they think might be affordable instead of what number of afghan security forces they believe will be needed to maintain security. it strikes me as unwise to base decisions on the future size of the afghan army and police exclusively on projections of future affordability instead of military requirements to secure the gains that have been made at great cost and to prevent a taliban return to power. the sustainability of the progress on security in afghanistan will also be affected by a number of issues including the progress of reconciliation talks with the taliban. whether pakistan chooses to play a constructive role in those talks, eliminating a threat from insurgent safe havens in pakistan. a strategic partnership between afghanistan and the united states, and the karzai government's efforts to improve governance, deliver services,
increase government revenues, fight corruption and promote inclusive and transparent elections. and general mattis will be interested in your assessment. the progress on security in afghanistan and the stainability of security gains through 2014 and beyond. there is a strong determination on this committee and in this congress to do all we can to counter the threat posed by iran. and in particular, stop iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. the national defense authorization act included breakthrough sanctions with respect to iran by requiring foreign financial institutions to choose between maintaining ties with the u.s. financial system or doing business with the central bank of iran, especially relative to the purchase of iranian petroleum and related products. president obama has appropriately focused considerable and determined diplomatic effort "to prevent
iran from getting a nuclear weapon." he has repeatedly said that there are "no options off the table" to achieve that goal. general mattis has the task of conducting the prudent planning and assembling the military options to the president relative to iran in case they are needed. i'm going to put most of the balance of my statement in the record, except for the following -- the new strategic guidance and special operations personnel. capacity building and other theater security cooperation activities in support of the geographic combatant commanders. admiral mccraven, recent published reports indicate that you are seeking new authorities, that you believe would help socom be more responsive to the geographic combatant commander's request for special operations personnel and the unique capabilities that they provide. the committee looks forward to
your comments on these reports and learning more about any authorities that you believe may be necessary to fulfill socom's global missions. finally, general, we would appreciate your comments relative to these events in syria, as to what you believe the options might be to end that slaughter of syrian civilians by the government of syria. we're all determined we want end it. the question is what are the military options that might be available in the case that were seized upon as being one of the ways to do that, and we very much appreciate your comment on that. gentlemen, again, our thanks to both of you and the men and women who serve with you for your great work. senator mccain? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and let me thank you our distinguished witnesses, who are two of the most impressive military leaders currently serving our nation.
we're all grateful for their many years of dedicated service. we're also grateful for the men and women they lead in u.s. central command and special operations command. amazing americans of every service who carry on the fight after a decade of war. admiral mcraven, this is your first time testifying before this committee as the commander of socome. and it's fitting that you do it alongside general mattis, a season it's veteran of this committee's hearings who has the scars to prove it. nowhere is the work of america's special operators more persistent and important than in centcom's area of responsibility. these forces play an instrumental role in ongoing counterterrorism operations, both in the region and around the globe. while al qaeda's senior leadership has been diminished by sustained pressure against them in pakistan, al qaeda's global operations have become increasingly decentralized and
no less deadly. region affiliates seek safe haven in countries beset by weak governments and internal instability, particularly places like yemen, the horn of africa, and the transahel. this is why this remains a vital component of our strategy to disrupt and defeat these terrorist organizations. i'm concerned, however, that as the administration seeks to decrease the size of our military's conventional ground forces, many people are already coming to see special operations forces as a fix-all to the myriad security challenges that our country faces. i look forward to your thoughts, admiral, @as to the proper role of special or operations in the total force and what more can be done to ensure that these operators are not stretched at
the unique core of responsibilities. general mattis, all of us have the yut most respect for you but we do not envy you. few of our military leaders have more on their plate, from supporting our friends in jordan and egypt, saudi arabia, and the uae, to keeping a watchful eye on the fragile but very different situations from bahrain, yemen, and lebanon. inafghanistan despite the progress our troops are marking on the ground, we are at an impasse with president karzai on the negotiation of a strategic partnership agreement. which is critical to sustaining our goals and locking in lasting success. in pakistan, our relationship remains fraught by a series of setbacks and a lack of trust, largely arising from the fact that the country's intelligence service continues to support terrorist groups, such as the hakani network that are killing americans.
in iraq, prime minister maliki continues to centralize power at the expense of the other political blocks, while the threat posed by al qaeda appears to be growing, along with the kinds of horrific, spectacular attacks like the one we saw yesterday. the iranian regime continues working to subvert iraq and many other countries in the region. its recent attempt to assassinate the saudi ambassador in washington, as well as israeli officials in southeast asia and the caucuses, suggest a growing and increasingly reckless threat. a let that would expand exponentially if they were to claim the nuclear capabilities it clearly seeks. unfortunately, the international effort to impose crippling sanctions appear to have done nothing to dissuade iran from its nuclear military pursuits. and then there's syria. after a year of bloodshed, the crisis has reached a decisive moment.
it is estimated that nearly 7,500 lives have been lost. syria today is the scene of some of the worst state-sponsored violence since the balkans. bashar al assad and his top lieutenants appear to be accelerating their fight to the finish, and they're doing so with the full support of russia, china and iran. a steady supply of weapons, ammunition, and other assistance is flowing to assad from moscow and tehran, and as "the washington post" reported on sunday, iranian military and intelligence operatives are likely working in syria to support assad. the president has made it the objective of the united states that the killing in syria must stop and that assad must go. he has committed the prestige and credibility of our nation to that goal, and it is the right goal. the united states has a clear national security interest in
stopping the slaughter in syria and forcing assad to leave power. the end of the assad regime would sever hezbollah's lifeline to iran, eliminate a long-standing threat to israel, bolster lebanon's sovereignty and independence and remove a committed state sponsor of terrorism that is engaged in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. it would be a geopolitical success of the first order and a strategic defeat for the iranian regime. however, it is not clear that the present policy will be able to achieve our goals in syria. in recent testimony to this committee, the national -- the director of national intelligence stated that if the status quo persists, assad could hang on for the foreseeable future. and that was before homs fell. with each passing day, the international response to assad's atrocities is being overtaken by events on the ground in syria.
what opposition groups in syria need most urgently is relief from assad's tank and artillery sieges in the many cities that are still contested. but time is running out. assad's forces are on the march. providing military assistance to the free syrian army and other opposition groups is necessary, but at this late hour, that alone will not be sufficient to stop the slaughter and save innocent lives. the only realistic way to do so is with foreign air power and the time has come for it. air strikes would help to establish and defend safe havens in syria, especially in the north, in which opposition forces can organize and plan their political and military activities against assad. these safe havens could allow for the delivery of humanitarian and military assistance, including weapons and ammunition, body armor, tactical intelligence, secure
communications equipment, food, and water, and medical supplies. these safe havens could also help the free syrian army and other armed groups in syria to train and organize themselves into more cohesive and effective military forces, likely with the assistance of foreign partners. rather than closing off the prospects for some kind of a negotiated transition that is acceptable to syria's opposition, military intervention is now needed to preserve this option as credible. assad needs to know that he will not win. but right now, unfortunately, assad seems to think he can win and for good reason, i'm afraid. i look forward to hearing our witnesses' advice about how we can change the balance of power against assad so as to finally end his bloodshed and brutal rule in syria. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator mccain. let me call on you, general mattis.